X-Men is one of the most celebrated franchises Marvel has. Its recent installment, X-Men: Apocalypse, though panned by critics, managed to do well at the box office. The ninth film in the series centers around the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse. This supervillain had many superhuman abilities and thus, he called himself a god. Since the release of the trailer, the appearance of the new villain resembles the character of Krishna from Hindu mythology. He is really old, has lived for tens of thousands of years and can control every being in this world. The dialogue “I’ve been called many things in many lifetimes- Ra, Krishna, Yahweh” strengthens the argument.
Lord Krishna, the blue-skinned god, was the one who changed the human genetics. He was the one who appeared and reappeared in various time periods to destroy or rebuild. The fictional supervillain, En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse), does remind one of Lord Krishna. Also, there’s a sequence in the movie where Charles Xavier discovers ‘immense’ power. He realizes that both their minds are connected. This is a similar situation to that of The Gita where Lord Krishna counsels Arjuna. Professor X (Charles Xavier) is interestingly the Arjuna to X-Men’s Krishna and furthermore, Lord Krishna did possess many superhuman abilities. Thus, Apocalypse fits in Hindu God’s shoes perfectly!
The character also seems to be hinting at Kalki, the destroyer of darkness. Hindus believe that there are periods of time called yugas (“ages” or “eras”). Each period has seen a progressive decline in morality. The Puranas tell that Kalki, endowed with eight superhuman abilities, will take birth to end Kaliyuga (the current age). Kalki, with a sword in hand, will kill millions of impure souls to re-establish righteousness on Earth. A new race will follow the laws of Satyayuga, the age of purity. Our villain En Sabah Nur too has similar ideologies. He believes that humanity has lost its way and aims to destroy the world in order to remake it.
Moreover, the movie focuses on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse similar to the ones described in the Book of Revelation. They represent the four spatial directions and the corresponding four world ages or yugas. Additionally, there are quite a few characters in the X-Men franchise that are similar to those in Hindu mythology. There were references to the Hindu mythology where Gods could teleport from one place to another. They possessed superpowers that enabled them to travel in the fourth dimension. This resembles the super power of Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler) who has the ability to teleport at will. Indian folklore describes Ichchadari Nagin, a female shape-shifting serpent. This does remind one of shape-shifting mutant, Mystique.
The Hindu Mythology is full of innovations and enchantments. However, these fascinating similarities are no mere coincidence. On the other hand, a few Hindus were quite upset due to the comparison of a Hindu God with a villain. They felt that it was quite inappropriate and disturbing to the devotees. Few said that the usage of Hindu deities for a commercial agenda might hurt the devotees. It may also confuse non-Hindus about Hinduism. Although this might be true to some extent, one must treat movies just as a source of entertainment as long as it isn’t too offensive. The creative intent is not to demean a Hindu figure, but a fanciful extrapolation of historical figures.